by Frank Marro
It is a busy time of year, not just as a beekeeper, but as the new president of the Delaware Beekeepers Association. I am very excited to be working with our newly formed executive committee and look forward to developing new educational venues for our association to share with the public and each other. We hope to continue the excellent work Paul Dill started this year with local queen rearing and other advanced beekeeping skills.
Our Web site is up and running and will be maintained by my son, Tony. Please don‘t forget to send me photos related to beekeeping, so that he can get them on the Web site. We also need to work on the classified ad section of the site, so if you have beekeeping related items you‘d like to buy or sell, let me know and I‘ll see if we can get them on the site.
We also have tee shirts available that are made with our new logo on the front. They‘re available in grey or yellow for $12. In addition, I'm looking into embroidered patches with the DBA logo that can be sewn or ironed onto bags, jackets, your bee suit, etc. My intent in doing this is not only to increase public awareness of the DBA, but also as a revenue producer, since during my brief tenure as secretary/treasurer, I realized the revenue stream as it exists, is somewhat limited and will only be more so next year with the proposed decrease in the matching funds program offered by the state.
The executive committee was recently contacted by Dr. Cerruti Hooks of the University of Maryland entomology department seeking letters of support for a grant investigating the optimal management of the small hive beetle. We submitted this to her, and if she receives the grant, we will be invited to participate in her study in some fashion.
The Delaware State Fair is a few months away and I will be asking our county vice presidents to get the schedule together as soon as possible to making this another successful DBA venue. We will not have the bee cage, but will have an observation hive, which will likely give people a better "upclose and personal" experience with honey bees.
I would like to see all members of our association participating in this. Last year was my first time, and I had a great time talking to the both kids and adults. No matter your level of experience, you will be able to handle all of the questions that are asked.
We are working on scheduling the time and location for next year‘s short course. This is another opportunity for many of you to share your knowledge of beekeeping; it is even more satisfying teaching the newbies since most of them have made the commitment to start this hobby. For this reason, the mentoring program that Bill Leitzinger and Paul Dill have started needs to be developed even more. Recall your first years of beekeeping and the mistakes you made and anxiety you felt? As mentors, we have the opportunity to help the newbies avoid some of these errors. I am mentoring three new beekeepers now, and they greatly appreciate any experience and help they can. So sign up and have fun!
Denny Friedel has initiated discussion with Dr. Faith Kuehn regarding a plan to minimize mowing along highways by planting those areas with beefriendly flora. Dr. Kuehn and Bob Mitchell are developing a pilot project in each county to lend scientific evidence to this proposal. I have also written to Gov. Jack Markell about the same concept and have as yet, not received a response.
If anyone has any issues or concerns you think the executive committee or the association should be involved with, please contact your county vice president or myself, so that we can address them.